Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Things I Like to Take Pictures Of (part two)

All those foot photos yesterday made me realize how often my toenails are painted red. Not right now, though. It's winter, and they are in handknit socks, healing from some harsh treatment they received over the summer. Those white plastic Marc Jacobs flats are all fun and games until someone spends three hours walking through the galleries of Chelsea. In retrospect, a taxi home would have been a good idea.
A taxi would have been a good idea on Monday night too. Or the bus even. But we've talked about this before, how if I get it in my head that I'm going to have my walk, it's pretty hard to deter me. That was Monday night.

That was the night it got dark before I left work, like it does these days, and then poured rain on me all the way from work to home. It was all very dramatic, with one of my hands (the one holding the phone) going numb from the cold, and my new black wool pants getting soaked to the knee, and the monorail looming and traffic lifting the dirty water from the gutters onto the sidewalks. Okay, I know the black wool pants are not that dramatic, but that does bring me to my next point.

Another thing I realized yesterday? I am no Tolstoy. No Virginia Woolf. Okay. I didn't actually realize that yesterday, I was just thinking about it more. It was the walk, which reminded me of those scenes Virginia does so well, where all the drama takes place in the mind of a character, just walking, running errands, contemplating a hat. I think of Tolstoy this way too, as being a master of the transformative small moment, though of course there's the whole War thing, that's pretty dramatic, I guess. Ha. Am I cracking you up yet?

I'm thinking about it though, thinking about the Tolstoy, the Woolf, what is underneath the veneer of "Fine." as an answer to the question about how your day was. I still don't feel like I have a way to talk about that walk home, how it was to be in the rain and cold after four bright days, how it felt melancholy and miserable and cranky and deep-down happy all at the same time.

I thought about how I might write that, not as a sentence with a bunch of adjectives, but as a long walk, with the short guy walking next to me, who said "I should be able to walk faster than you, I have longer legs", or the woman in the big white Escalade who made me cranky by pulling so far into the intersection that she blocked the crosswalk, and how when the walk signal went, she looked in her rearview mirror to try to pull back out of the intersection. There was no way, so instead, she rolled down her window, blinking hard against the rain and called to me "I'm sorry! I went too far!" I had just been thinking how dumb she and her Escalade were, especially after that last intersection, where for some incomprehensible reason, people were stopping at the red light, waiting a moment, and then just pulling right through. Somehow those other people made her seem even worse, until she apologized, and I found myself shrugging and just... not cranky anymore.

And P.S.? When I woke up this morning, my boots were still wet. I wore them anyway. I had to! They're the best for walking. And I wanted a walk. I had things to think about.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

I'm impressed you found some happiness and poetry in Monday's commute home. I was just cold and wet and cranky, until I got on the bus and got a seat and got my book and listened to my iPod and was warm and cozy. And then had to go back into the rain.

When's our next outing?